Detroit’s Mo Pop festival is back for another year this July 28-29 at Waterfront Park, making its sixth appearance with its strongest lineup yet. Bon Iver and The National headline the traditionally folk/rock festival, while alternative hip-hop blockbusters like Vince Staples and BROCKHAMPTON round out 2018’s undercard. If you find yourself bumming around Detroit during Mo Pop weekend and want to see what all the fuss is about, read further and find out the underappreciated artists that we think deserve your undivided attention!
Canadian dream pop band, Alvvays, have been on fire after last year’s release of their second album, Antisocialites. Languid love songs and dreamy effects pedals are synonymous with Alvvays at this point, carrying the legacy of bands like Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine in high regard. Incorporating more synths on Antisocialites rounded out their sound and they’ve put it to good use with live sets on KEXP and Adult Swim. Check them out at Mo Pop if you want something to sway to.
Rex Orange County
Hailing from the UK, Alexander O’Connor (Rex Orange County) worked his way into Tyler, the Creator’s creative circle with his impressive songs of youth and love. His music sounds older than the British kid it comes from, with jazzy production and slick key changes behind his American Idol-worthy voice. The soulful refrain of “Loving Is Easy” wraps around you like a warm blanket, much like the rest of ROC’s discography, and much like his live set will at Mo Pop this July!
Roach stands his ground as the very last name on Mo Pop’s 2018 lineup, but something tells us his time at the bottom of these lists won’t be much longer. Curtis Roach can rap, everybody. The Detroit native spits flows on lofty, old-school beats by stretching his voice to a near-yelp and enunciating hysterically. Entrenched in the DIY community of Detroit, Roach has been a hometown hero ever since he recorded the “Extra Fries” music video in the back of a sedan on zero budget. If you want to see raw, local talent, don’t miss Curtis Roach’s high-energy set!
Teenage lo-fi princess, Claire Cottrill, made waves on Youtube and abroad this summer when her homemade “Pretty Girl” music video blew up. Her voice effortlessly glides over Garageband hip-hop beats and sine wave synth stabs, pairing style and simplicity and propelling her into viral video territory. Her live set plays like glorified karaoke as she dances around the stage in sunglasses and a faux leopard print jacket. Whether or not she can string together enough gems to make a full-length album is beside the point, catch her at Mo Pop while the hype is high!
America’s favorite new boy band has been making all kinds of noise in the past year. During and after the rapid-fire releases of Saturation I, II, and III, BROCKHAMPTON kept busy with music videos, festival performances, pop-up shops and a couple cross-country tours. They blend old-school hip-hop with a fresh helping of Frank Ocean-style autotune and experimentation, each member with a unique direction and style with Kevin Abstract’s vision at the crux of it all. Their live set continues to be highly choreographed and entertaining as the young guns take every show offer thrown their way, so don’t miss out on the hottest rap group since Odd Future!